Ever Hear of Feuerbach?

Ever Hear of Feuerbach?

by Mark Ellingsen


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Christianity is in decline in North America and Europe. Polls indicate that in the US the fastest-growing segment of the American population is the religiously unaffiliated (the so-called Nones). Why is this happening? Mark Ellingsen calls our attention to a previously overlooked reason—the flawed theology and Christian education material used in most mainline churches. These approaches forfeit the transcendence of God. They logically fall prey to the claim of German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (and his student Karl Marx) that Christianity is nothing more than a bunch of teachings that human beings have made up. Insofar as this is a message the public has been hearing, little wonder Christianity in America and Europe is losing ground!
Though his main concern is to get church and academy talking about this problem and to prod us to do something about it, Ellingsen proposes a way out of this mess. Drawing on insights from the neo-orthodox, postliberal, progressive evangelical, and black church traditions, he offers a proposal that succeeds in making clear that God is more than how we experience him. He invites readers to explore with him the exciting possibility that a theological use of the scientific method could be employed to make a case for the plausibility of Christian faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532649622
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2020
Pages: 148
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

Mark Ellingsen is a professor of church history on the faculty of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. He is author of hundreds of articles and twenty-third books, including a new textbook, Theological Formation, which joins his other textbooks used in seminaries and colleges throughout North America.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Mark Ellingsen’s provocative book documents the way that mainline religious traditions have embraced Feuerbach’s materialistic assessment of life and the future. Against that accommodation, Ellingsen believes that other religious options still very much alive (Karl Barth, African American, some careful evangelicals) effectively promote views of God as transcendent and humans as real sinners capable of real redemption. Ellingsen, who has many times shown how forcefully a historical Lutheran perspective can speak to contemporary issues, has done it again with this timely and important book.”

—Mark Noll, Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

“Mark Ellingsen has provided a highly readable account of how atheism emerged from within the ranks of the Christian faith by modern theologians who made experience the foundation of theology.”

—Laurence W. Wood, Frank Paul Morris Professor of Systematic Theology, Asbury Theological Seminary

“The church, Mark Ellingsen convinces us, is in a ‘funk.’ The only way out of this situation is to face it head-on theologically and hope for healing. This began, the good doctor informs us, with Ludwig Feuerbach. What Feuerbach started was addressed by Barth, but we have let this go on undiagnosed for too long. The doctor is offering a prescription: this lucid, insightful book. Take it; read it; digest it. The situation is critical. The road to recovery awaits.”

—Marc Jolley, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Mercer University

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